The Weekend: Be Merry, Musical and Celebrate with Fire!

It’s the final weekend before Christmas. After you take advantage of your last Saturday of free parking in Montclair and local shopping for the remaining presents on your list (check our Gift Guide 2010 for ideas), why not join in with local carolers, drink hot chocolate and head on to Tierney’s for good music. For the Winter Solstice worshippers amongst you, begin next week’s celebration early with a Fire Ceremony on Sunday.

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bloomfield is celebrating with a Christmas Concert, Sunday Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.. The celebration will feature St. John’s Choir along with sopranos Ani Kolhida and Elizabeth Evans, oboist Brianna Tarby and Julia Shumerina on the organ.The concert will formally rededicate their newly renovated, 85 year-old organ.The concert is free for everyone. St. John´s Church, 216 Liberty Street, Bloomfield, (973) 429-8654

Central Presbyterian Church, located at 46 Park Street in Montclair, invites its neighbors to “Cookies, Cocoa, and Carols” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 18. This free, family friendly program will feature caroling to the strains of the church’s four manual pipe organ. Organist Jonathan Hal will lead the singing. Following the singing, all are invited to the adjoining Church House for seasonal treats.

Two Montclair bands will play at Tierney’s Tavern this weekend, in case you feel more in the mood for secular music during this holiday season.

Bern & the Brights, recent winners of two Hoboken Music Awards for Outstanding Band and People’s Choice, will be bringing their “forward-thinking chamber pop” to their home audience tonight, December 17 at 9 p.m. The band’s debut EP, Swing Shift Maisies is out, and has been featured as “Disc of the Week” by The Aquarian and album of the week at The band’s songs “It Goes Like That” and “Sleepless Aristotle” have recently been getting airplay on 101.9RXP lately.

The Reticents return to Tierney’s with lots of new songs added to their repertoire of classics by Bob Dylan, The Band, Joni Mitchel, Marvin Gaye and Lennon/McCartney on Saturday night, December 18. Band members, Iris Schaffer-Hall, vocals/acoustic guitar/percussion, Doug Hall, keyboard/Vocals, Bob Mellman, bass/vocals, Mike Levine, electric guitar/vocals and David Goldman will be playing from 9 to 12:30 p.m. Take a listen to their music here.

Also playing around Montclair this weekend, The Porchistas at the DLV Lounge on Saturday night and From Good Homes at the Wellmont, Friday and Saturday.

This weekend is your last chance to see Montclair High School of Visual and Performing Arts’ Showcase 2011: “From Britain to Broadway”. The show weaves together the songs from blockbuster musicals and lesser known shows that made it to Broadway from across the pond. Featuring SVPA actors, singers and dancers, song selections range from Pirates of Penzance and Rocky Horror Picture Show to My Fair Lady and Billy Elliot.

The shows will start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the box office one hour before show time, $12 for adults and $10 for students.

And finally, wrap up the weekend with a Winter Solstice celebration.

Throughout the ages, a variety of cultures have viewed the winter solstice as a time for celebration and renewal.
Starseed Yoga and Wellness in Montclair will be hosting a Winter Solstice Fire Ceremony — the oldest ritual known to humankind — with Dr. Jason Martin on December 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Starseed’s web site says attendees will “benefit from an unusual joining of these two powerful energies to make a significant change in your life with the help of the world’s most transformative element – fire.”

Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. Starseed is at 215 Glenridge Ave., Montclair, 973.783.1036

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  1. Glen Ridge Congregational Church will have it’s annual “Bell Sunday” this weekend as well. The church bell choir will play tunes, and the audience is encouraged to bring their own bells to make noise. One of the few times a year that I go to church

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